Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth services have become more popular due to the convenience of receiving care from the comfort of your home. One of the services offered is teletherapy, which has become a popular method of receiving mental health services among college students. Teletherapy is accessing remote mental health counseling. Examples of teletherapy include doing therapy sessions over the phone, instant messaging or within an app. Some of the benefits of teletherapy include more privacy, higher satisfaction and it is better for public health as patients are not at risk for contracting COVID-19. Additionally, colleges have a system in place to serve students when they’re off campus and over breaks.
Students are able to access these services through their institutions counseling service. Some institutions have included this service within their mandatory health fees so it is at no additional cost to the student. Moreover, some institutions allow students to use these services over summer break without having students register for summer courses.
For example, Shasta college, a California community college, contracted with Texas-based TimelyMD to offer 24/7 telehealth options for students. The push for 24/7 telehealth options was to help its in-house staff since they were limited by work and traditional business hours. Shasta students can still use TimelyMD through the college over the summer. A big selling point is that Shasta students have access to counselors from diverse backgrounds and additionally, counselors can connect students with other resources such as food and housing assistance, transit support and bill payments.
What are some of the pushbacks in telehealth?
- Some of the pushbacks in telehealth come from college workers who argue that it overshadows students’ need for more in-person counseling services.
- Although there are no limits to how many sessions a student can participate, telehealth is meant for situational challenges and not chronic issues.